UPDATED 22:27 EDT / OCTOBER 25 2017

APPS

ServiceNow acquires SkyGiraffe for its low-code app development platform

Workflow automation and service management software provider ServiceNow Inc. has said it’s acquiring mobile application development firm SkyGiraffe Inc. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

SkyGiraffe has built what’s popularly called a “low-code” or “no-code” platform for building mobile applications for enterprise systems. Low-code app development involves minimizing hand-coding of applications by configuring existing functions from other platforms and apps to speed up development. It essentially means creating apps via program generators or programming languages that tie prewritten functions together.

SkyGiraffe’s particular approach to no-code development also involves connecting data from on-premises and cloud-based apps, and making this accessible to mobile versions of those apps built for Android, iOS and Windows. The company said its approach lets enterprises reduce the time it takes for cross-platform development to a matter of hours or days, rather than the months it would take to build a fully customized app from scratch.

ServiceNow said it plans to leverage these techniques to deliver its packaged apps, which include IT Service Management, in a native mobile format. In addition, ServiceNow customers will be able to use SkyGiraffe’s technology for themselves in order to deliver consumerlike mobile experience for applications built using its platform.

“Our work lives should be as mobile friendly as our consumer lives,” CJ Desai, chief product officer at ServiceNow, said in a statement. “With our native mobile platform approach, ServiceNow intends to make getting work done anytime, anywhere through great mobile experiences as easy as hailing a taxi, ordering coffee or booking a dinner reservation.”

The acquisition is ServiceNow’s second this month, coming about three weeks after it bought design studio outfit Telepathy to help transform its user interface and experience knowhow.

“Together the investments of SkyGiraffe and Telepathy will help ServiceNow customers better deliver consumer-styled apps to the devices that they want when it matters most,” Desai said.

ServiceNow has enjoyed a positive year so far under new Chief Executive Officer John Donahoe, who joined the firm in February. With Donahoe at the helm, ServiceNow saw its share price on the New York Stock Exchange rise from about $86 per share to an all-time high of $126 per share on the back of successive strong quarters.

However, the company will be challenged to keep up the strong performance its displayed this year. In its third quarter reported Wednesday, the company disappointed investors with a weaker-than-expected forecast for its subscription revenues for the fourth quarter, causing its share price to fall by about 4 percent in after-hours trading.

Desai spoke with SiliconANGLE Media’s live streaming studio theCUBE at the company’s Knowledge 2017 conference in May:

Image: ServiceNow

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